As do all the other states, Maine law prohibits the possession, furnishing, and trafficking of heroin. Despite the terrible effects on your body that heroin can have, it’s still used and sold across the country, even in Maine. As a recent local example, in 2015 a Brunswick man was arrested for allegedly bringing heroin into Maine, and also had suspicious items like cash and scales at his apartment.
Federal vs. Maine State Drug Classifications
The federal government uses system of Schedule I to V to classify drugs, from most dangerous to least, which most states also use. Maine classifies illegal drugs differently. Maine uses a schedule of W, X, Y, and Z. Heroin is in the highest drug classification of Schedule W, which means the possession, furnishing, or trafficking of heroin is most harshly penalized.
Maine Heroin Laws
The table below outlines the basic heroin laws in Maine.
|Code Section||Maine Code Revised Title 17-A, Chapter 45: Drugs|
|Possession||Possessing up to one gram of heroin for personal use is a Class C crime. A Class C crime can be punished by no more than five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Note: If you have more than 6 grams of heroin, you’ll be presumed to be furnishing or trafficking heroin.
|Furnishing||Maine law criminalizes the furnishing, giving, administering, delivering, or otherwise transferring heroin, or possessing heroin with the intent to do those things.
While typically giving someone heroin is a Class C crime, but it’s upgraded to a Class B crime by some aggravating circumstances, including:
Class B crimes are sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and at most a $20,000 fine.
|Trafficking||Trafficking is creating, growing, selling, exchanging, or otherwise furnishing heroin for money or possessing heroin for any of those items. It’s primarily the monetary exchange that distinguishes this from furnishing.
Intentionally or knowingly trafficking heroin, a schedule W drug, is generally a Class B violation. However, any of the above aggravating circumstances or trafficking at least 6 grams of heroin is a Class A crime. Class A crimes can be punished by at most 30 years in prison and up to a $50,000 fine.
Also, if a car is used in the furnishing or trafficking of heroin, then the defendant’s driver’s license can be suspended for up to 5 years after he or she gets out of prison.
|Drug Paraphernalia||Sometimes, states prohibit drug paraphernalia or accessories, as well as drugs. Such as water bongs or pipes typically used for marijuana. Maine law prohibits the trafficking, furnishing, or possession of hypodermic needles. This is a Class D crime that can be punished by up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
Fortunately, it’s a defense to be a certified harm reduction needle exchange program so heroin addicts can have access to clean needles to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STIs. People who have needles for diabetes or other medical reasons would also be protected from this law.
Getting Legal Help
If you’ve been charged with a heroin-related crime, you should consult with an experienced drug crime defense lawyer or your assigned public defender immediately.
Note: State laws change often. Conduct your own legal research or contact an attorney to verify these state drug crime laws.
Research the Law
Contact a qualified attorney.